Virtual commencement for summer and fall graduates

Peter Smedley/NW

Graduates will zoom in on December 6th for commencement. Others can also join the zoom meeting found at https://nmu.edu/commencement/.

Peter Smedley/NW Graduates will zoom in on December 6th for commencement. Others can also join the zoom meeting found at https://nmu.edu/commencement/.

Peter Smedley

Students who graduated in the spring 2020 semester were the first to be virtual graduates of in-person colleges. With the relentless spike in Covid-19 cases around Marquette, NMU will be having another virtual graduation. On Sunday, December 6th, NMU is hosting a livestream for graduating students that anyone can attend. The celebration will see the university president, Fritz Erickson, student Cecilia Ruiz, and board chair Steve Mitchell give messages to the graduates, according to https://nmu.edu/commencement/.

Complete listings of the graduates from May, August, and December are also available on the website. While the virtual format is a result of Covid-19, and some graduates may be saddened by the change, staying safe has been the protocol of the university all semester, so a virtual graduation does not come as a surprise. 

The recent return to phase 4 issued by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer saw the removal of in-person learning, a change that has resulted in mixed feelings among the student body and faculty. While many graduates are excited to be out of college, others are afraid for what is to come in graduate school. Universities across the nation have been forced to go online, and have been met with resistance due to slow decision making. More on the push for online by NMU students can be found at https://www.thenorthwindonline.com/student-concerns-rise-as-covid-19-cases-reach-all-time-high-in-marquette/.

For graduates, as many cram for the last time to complete finals, while others prepare their graduation school applications, the strangeness of the year continues to resonate as their final days on campus are not actually on campus. The dedication and perseverance this year has demanded out of these students and the entire student body deserves recognition. This year has expected more from everyone than anyone previous, and as many struggle to make ends meet, others are lying in their bed, dressed in a cap and gown, waiting for their name to be called through a laptop speaker. Virtual graduation may feel like an insignificant change now, but looking back it can be viewed as a sacrifice and reminder of what this time was like for the graduates. 

Congratulations to the class of 2020, and to our own news editor, Jesse Wiederhold. The North Wind wishes you the best.